DENVER— Colorado Creative Industries (CCI) announced today that 722 grantees have been awarded $7.4 million in COVID-19 economic relief funding through the Colorado Arts Relief Fund. This fund was made possible by the Colorado legislature during the Colorado special session in December 2020.
As COVID-19 continues to impact Colorado, arts and culture organizations are witnessing dramatic, unprecedented losses in employment and revenue. Colorado’s largest and fastest-growing creative industries, including music, theater, dance, and visual arts, have been among the hardest hit by the impacts of COVID-19. Estimates are that between April and July 2020, creative industries as a whole lost 59,600 jobs and $2.6 billion. The estimated losses contracted the region’s creative economy by 31% in terms of employment and 8% in annual sales revenue.
Prior to the pandemic, arts, culture and entertainment played a key role in Colorado’s economy with higher than average industry growth in all regions of the state from 2010-2019. Creative Industries generated $31.6 billion in sales of goods and services in 2019. This figure represents 4% of all goods and services sold within the state, more than mining or transportation.
“Colorado’s arts, culture and entertainment industries play a critical role in our economy and are essential to our recovery and resiliency,” said Colorado Creative Industries Director Margaret Hunt. “The Colorado Arts Relief program offers direct funding to the individuals, businesses and organizations most severely impacted by COVID-19 capacity restrictions.”
“I want to thank the members of the Colorado Legislature for appropriating these critical funds to provide relief to arts, culture, film, and entertainment enterprises during this challenging economic time,” said Tim Schultz, Colorado Creative Industries Council chair. “The Council and staff, along with community volunteers, reviewed over 2500 applications from across Colorado to ensure those organizations and individuals that suffered the greatest loss received state support."
The COVID-19 Relief Program for Arts, Cultural and Entertainment Artists, Crew Members and Organizations (Colorado Arts Relief Grant) was enacted by Senate Bill 20B-001. This initiative directed up to $7.5 million for relief payments to eligible artists, crew members and organizations. Funding through this bill was distributed through two separate grant applications:
- Colorado Arts Relief—Business and Organization
- Colorado Arts Relief—Individuals
The grants were administered by Colorado Creative Industries in partnership with Redline. The Colorado Arts Relief Fund for individuals awarded $1.365 million to 599 individuals in 41 counties in Colorado. Grants to individuals were one-time flat amounts up to $2,500.
The Colorado Arts Relief Fund for businesses and organizations general operating support grants totaling $5,985,500 to 123 arts, culture, and entertainment organizations in 33 counties across Colorado. Award amounts were based on organizational budget size and percent income loss between 2019 and 2020.